WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

426

 

 


 

 

Ī 93. The Anger-Eating Demon

Translated from the Samyutta-Nikāya (xi.3.2.1)

[22.1][rhyc][bodh] THUS HAVE I HEARD.

On a certain occasion The Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthi in Jetavana monastery in Anāthapindika's Park. And there The Blessed One addressed the priests:

"Priests!" said he.

"Lord!" said the priests in reply.

And The Blessed One spoke as follows:

Once upon a time, O priests, a certain sickly-looking and decrepit demon took his seat on the throne of Sakka, the leader of the gods. And the Gods, O priests, of the Suite of the Thirty-three, were angered, annoyed, and spoke indignantly: "O wonderful is it! O marvellous is it! Here this sickly-looking and decrepit demon has taken his seat on the throne of Sakka, the leader of the gods!" Now, O priests, in proportion as the Gods of the Suite of the Thirty-three were angered, annoyed, and spoke indignantly, in the same proportion did the demon grow handsomer, better-looking, and more pleasing.

Then, O priests, the Gods of the Suite of the Thirty-three drew near to where Sakka, the leader of the gods, was; and having drawn near, they spoke to Sakka, the leader of the gods, as follows:

[427] "Sir, a certain sickly-looking and decrepit demon has come here and taken his seat on your throne. And the Gods, sir, of the Suite of the Thirty-three, are angered, annoyed, and speak indignantly: 'O wonderful is it! O marvellous is it! Here this sickly-looking and decrepit demon has taken his seat on the throne of Sakka, the leader of the gods.' And, sir, in proportion as the Gods of the Suite of the Thirty-three are angered, annoyed, and speak indignantly, in the same proportion does the demon grow handsomer, better-looking, and more pleasing. Sir, surely now, it must be an anger-eating demon."

Then, O priests, Sakka, the leader of the gods, drew near to where the anger-eating demon was; and having drawn near, he threw his upper garment over his shoulder, and planting his right knee-pan on the ground, he stretched out his joined palms to the demon, and thrice announced himself:

"Sir, your obedient servant, Sakka, the leader of the gods! Sir, your obedient servant, Sakka, the leader of the gods! Sir, your obedient servant, Sakka, the leader of the gods!"

And the more, O priests, Sakka, the leader of the gods, proclaimed his own name, the more sickly-looking and decrepit became the demon; and straightway he disappeared. Then, O priests, Sakka, the leader of the gods, resumed his seat on his throne, and took occasion to induce in the gods a more fitting frame of mind, by means of the following stanzas:

"My mind's not easily cast down,
Nor lightly swerveth from its course;
Long angry can I never be,
For anger finds in me no place.
 
"I ne'er in anger say harsh words,
And ne'er proclaim my virtue's fame;
Myself I seek to keep subdued
In interest of my future weal."

 


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